Entries in Meteor (3)


Meteor Lights Up East Coast

Chad Baker/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Security cameras and night owls noticed a bright flash in the sky on Friday night that experts believe was a meteor.

The flash was seen as far north as Maine and as far south as North Carolina. According to the American Meteor Society, over 600 sightings were reported, some as far inland as Ohio.

Just after the 8:00 p.m. event, photos and videos of the flash were widespread on Facebook and Twitter Friday night.

According to the American Meteor Society, nearly all meteors burn up between 10 and 20 miles above the Earth's surface. The flash was likely caused by one of those meteors turning into a fireball in the upper atmosphere.

Despite the fact that a large meteor crashed into the Siberia region of Russia last month, injuring over 1,000 residents, experts say there is no cause for alarm in this incident.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden urged lawmakers for additional funding to build telescopes that would be able to track dangerous meteors before they entered Earth’s atmosphere during a hearing on Capitol Hill last week.

When asked what NASA's plan would be if a meteor was determined to be imminently headed towards New York City, Bolden replied, “If it’s coming in three weeks, pray.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Meteor Lights Up Northern Californian Sky

Chad Baker/Photodisc/Thinkstock (file photo)(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A meteor lit up the skies over the Bay Area in California Wednesday evening in what experts say is debris from Halley’s Comet.

Hundreds of residents from Oakland, San Francisco and Santa Cruz called ABC News affiliate KGO-TV reporting a loud boom, explosions and streaks of light around 7:45 p.m. local time. reported that the 2012 Orionid meteor shower is set to peak Saturday night into Sunday morning.

“Earth is passing through a stream of debris from Halley’s Comet, the source of the Orionids,” Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said in the report.

Excited residents took to Twitter and YouTube to post photos and videos of the streaking comet.

“Happened to look over, saw like a crescent shaped object, reddish orange in color,” Edward Pierce told KGO.  “As it went away it started getting larger.  Kind of expanding.”

The National Weather Service says warm temperatures and cloudless skies are helping to make the bright lights more visible.

“Basically, you saw small car-sized pieces of rock and metal from the ashtray belt, crashing through layers of earth’s atmosphere, ionizing and setting the air on fire in its wake,” Jonathan Braidman, astronomer at the Chabot Space and Science Center, told KGO.

The Orionids are one of two annual meteor showers produced by icy pieces of Halley’s Comet.  The other shower, called the Eta Aquarids, peaks each year in early May, according to NASA.

“Since 2006, the Orionids have been one of the best showers of the year, with counts in some years up to 60 or more meteors per hour,” NASA’s Cooke said.

Halley’s Comet might just be the most famous comet of all time, passing earth every 75 to 76 years.  The last time it passed earth and was visible with the naked eye was in February 1986.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


First Meteor Shower of 2012 Hits Skies Wednesday Morning

Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If you're up early Wednesday morning and the weather is promising, bundle up and go outside. The Quadrantid meteor shower, the first of 2012, should be at its best between 3 a.m. and dawn, Eastern Time.

The Quadrantids are often the most intense of the year's regular meteor showers, but also one of the shortest. They happen when Earth passes through the narrow trail of debris left by an asteroid called 2003 EH1, so they only last a few hours. If it's clear, astronomers say you could see 60-200 streaks across the sky per hour.

Because of the direction from which they come, the Quadrantids are a northern-hemisphere phenomenon. And because of the timing -- the shower peaking as the moon sets -- the best seeing should be in the eastern half of the country.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio